… In finance Your Eyewitness has been asked to expand on the cryptic comment it made yesterday on Winston Jordan’s criticism of Finance Minister Ashni Singh’s announcement that his Government is raising our domestic and foreign debt ceiling. Jordan, who was in the back office of the Ministry of Finance when Singh was then Minister, runs around like Chicken Little screaming, “The sky is falling !!! The sky is falling !!! ”About the move. Jordan just does with his astrology to confirm that he knows squat about economics or finance. He was just a numbers cruncher who filled in figures on a template when budgets were drawn from inputs from budget agencies. First of all, what exactly is this “debt ceiling”? Even Jordan should understand this: it’s a “ceiling” or a limit to what the Government can actually borrow; domestically from US $ .75B to US $ 2.5B, and externally to US $ 1.25B. The Government can now borrow domestically from local banks, and do this all the time by selling fixed-interest T-Bills or Bonds at fixed interest to the said banks. The US has been raising its debt ceilings hundreds of percentage points in recent decades! Foreign debt is accrued when the Government borrows from external multilateral or bilateral sources, such as the IDB or CDB and so on. The first thing to note is that, unlike what Jordan suggests with his hysterics, the Government has NOT actually borrowed the new amounts !! Governments only spend – or have overspent (as the PNC made up to $ 75B only) – by passing Budgets in the National Assembly – by passing Supplementary Spending Bills. And when these Budgets / Bills are passed, the Opposition and the nation are fully informed of what the money will be used for during the extensive debates. Now, the Government had already announced in its Manifesto what it intends to spend over the next five years: bridges, highways, electricity generating plants, a new city, stabilizing the old economy and facilitating diversification, deeper social nets and so forth. All these things require money, not magic. And since the PPP does not intend to wipe the Guyanese public dry as sucking oranges – as the PNC did – it says in advance that it, like any entrepreneurial entity, expects to supplement its funds through borrowing. And, like any entrepreneur worth his salt, he expects to pay his debt from income generated! Jordan’s panic alarm comes from his PNC experience, which has proven – in all PNC incarnations – that he only knows to spend, not to win. The PPP, on the other hand, has shown that it knows how to stimulate business activity – from which the taxes would generate the revenue to service the debts. The PNC can’t even expand a cake shop!
… In moral turmoil Some people are not ashamed, but Hamilton Green takes the cake. It gained its impetus as the “muscle” for the Burnham Mafia that terrified Guyana between 1961 and 1964 in the racial riots that put the PNC in office. It then burned that reputation until 1985 as Burnham transformed his private Mafia to consolidate his public dictatorship. And now, after his “spiritual moral renewal” spiel has fallen flat – through acts such as justifying Mingo Granger’s rig – he’s calling on Gandhi !! In a letter, “Five Lessons of Gandhi’s murder”, he said, “The world was shocked as he (Gandhi) lived his life offering nonviolence, but violence was used against him.” So how about the irony of him, Hamilton Green, living his life proposing violence and now quoting Gandhi ?? Or about the “takeaway” of this diehard extremist from Gandhi’s murder: “Beware, and be able to identify the extremists among us.” Your Eyewitness wonders what lesson he learned from the murder of our own Walter Rodney.
… In the maze As we move closer to passing the “weed bill”, there’s your Croew Eyewitness, “Pass Dutch on the left side … Pass the dutchie on the left … Give me a little music mek me wine up me waist”!